Ever have one of those days when one thing after another makes you want to scream? Such was yesterday morning. First I read a few things on the Internet I didn’t like. Then I received an e-mail I didn’t like. Plus I couldn’t get my brain working on Crimson Eve. (Although the latter may have something to do with the fact that this is my seventh straight day of ten to 12 hours in the office.)
So I pulled my trusty Bible over and began reading. I happen to be in Exodus. The great “Let my people go” epic. I read about Moses going to Pharaoh, and his request, and denial of that request. Followed by all the plagues. Man, what a story. It’s got all the right ingredients. Starts with a strong inciting incident and clear protagonist Desire and builds from there. I noticed little things as I read. (Amazing how you can read a story so many times and still see something new.) For the first two plagues, blood and frogs, the Egyptian magicians could perform demonic duplications. From the third on, they couldn’t. And get this. Not until the fourth plague—flies—does God say that He’ll treat the land of Goshen, where the Israelites live, differently. They’ll see no flies.
Hey, wait a minute. Does that mean the Israelites also suffered the first three plagues? (Bible scholars out there, anyone?)
Then come the fifth and sixth plagues—animals dying and boils. I noticed the magicians were singled out in the boil plague—they “could not stand before Moses because of the boils.” Heh-heh. They’re finally getting theirs.
Then the seventh plague—hail. This is the first time it’s mentioned that some Egyptians feared God. Unlike Pharaoh, their hearts had not been hardened. These smart folks brought their livestock and slaves in from the fields so they wouldn’t be killed by the hail. Apparently God honored their holy fear of Him and didn’t send the hail breaking through their roofs.
Well, ol’ Pharaoh’s a slow learner. So on come plagues eight and nine—locusts and darkness. During the locust stint—something new. Instead of Moses coming to the Big P, The Big P summons Moses. By this time, by the way, Moses has gotten real cagey. He doesn’t pray on the spot for the current plague to go. He tells the Big P he’ll go outside the city, then pray. I’m thinking Moses knew if he nixed a plague on the spot, the Big P would grab him and kill him before he could set foot out of the palace.
Then of course, the worst one of all, plague ten: death of all firstborn, human and cattle alike.
I don’t know about you, but reading a story like this sorta puts my meager life in perspective. I can handle an answer in an e-mail I didn’t want to hear. I can handle reading negativity on the Internet. I can handle sloshing through my current manuscript.
It was before the eighth plague that God finally got around to telling Moses why all the hubbub. “I’m sending these plagues,” He says, “so I can perform my wondrous signs, and you can tell your children and grandchildren, so that you may know that I am God.”
So that you may know that I am God.
I read God’s word, talk to Him, re-center on Who He Is—and the issues in my life, small and big alike, have a way of falling into perspective.
May I just add—I’m very, very grateful I’ve never had frogs in my bed.